Becky Ginther's Reviews > Ask Me No Questions

Ask Me No Questions by Marina Budhos
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Jun 16, 2011

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bookshelves: young-adult, realistic-fiction, multicultural
Read in May, 2011

I thought this book was great because it hits pretty close to home and it’s very meaningful. It was easier to see that Nadira and her sister were just regular teenagers like we were, or like the students that we will be teaching, and their friends. They got used to thinking of themselves as Americans, with Aisha believing she can even go to college. As a reader, I found it easier to imagine myself in Nadira’s place than some other multicultural books I have read.

I think this would be a great book for teenagers to read because it’s an eye opener. As sad as it is, ever since the 9/11 attacks I know that many people do have certain stereotypes of Muslims, just because of their culture. This book lets you see what these people might really be like. It also showed me just how hard things were for them because of what happened. We like to think that the United States is a fair, civil country, but both Nadira’s father and her uncle were taken to jail – and came back looking much the worse for wear. They don’t specifically say what happened to them while they were in jail, but it seems pretty clear that some sort of abuse was going on. We’d all like to think that wouldn’t happen in the United States, but sometimes it does.

As far as authenticity, again, I don’t know the culture well myself so it’s hard for me to say. However, I do feel that the characters were all just portrayed as real people, that might say or do the same things that we would. In that regard, I thought the book did an excellent job in avoiding stereotypes. It still showed that they are different in some ways though, such as how they live their life, and what their beliefs are.

I also just thought it was an exciting, intriguing book as a whole. There was a lot of mystery and suspense about what would happen, which made it a good read. There were also some interesting moral and ethical questions posed or implied, which gives you something to think about and would also be great for use in a classroom discussion.
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